The Food & Health Subcommittee advises the City on policies and practices that influence food and beverage choices with the aim of improving overall well-being and reducing health disparities for all Philadelphians.
We envision healthy and prosperous communities where all Philadelphians have access to healthy affordable food and beverages, nutrition education, and culinary skills.
At the February 2016 meeting, FPAC members identified health as a missing link in FPAC’s programming. FPAC member Dwayne Wharton proposed a subcommittee to address food issues related to health, such as drinking water access, sugar-sweetened beverage policies, and vending policies.
In 2018, the subcommittee created a list of recommendations for the Administration, which can be found in FPAC’s 2018 Food Policy Platform. Some focus areas include expansion of farm to school programs, promote Healthy Food Financing initiatives, promote healthy vending policies in schools, support of the creation of sugar and sodium warning labels, and promote supportive breastfeeding policies. In the spring, subcommittee members completed research on the recommendations and reported back on possible actions the subcommittee can take to move them forward.
Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (PA-FFFI)
One action the subcommittee pursued was sending a letter of support for the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (PA-FFFI). PA-FFFI is the nation’s first statewide healthy food financing and the model for the federal HFFI program. PA-FFFI funded 88 food retail projects and created more than 5,000 jobs in urban and rural communities from 2004 to 2010, and helped more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians access healthy food. The letter expressed support for an appropriation of $5 million in Pennsylvania’s FY 2018-2019 budget to fund the re-capitalization of PFFFI to ensure that Pennsylvania remains at the forefront of improving access to nutritious food.
Sodium Warning Labels
On Monday, May 7th, Food & Health Co-chair Dwayne Wharton testified in support of sodium warning labels on chain restaurant menus at a City Council hearing. The Food & Health subcommittee recommended that City Council and the Administration support the creation of sodium warning labels in the FPAC 2018 Policy Platform. Of the ten largest cities in the U.S., Philadelphia has the highest rates of hypertension and premature death. Consumer education is one way to inform the public about healthier options and warning labels can help reduce sodium intake, hypertension rates, and ultimately make Philadelphia healthier and save lives.
Thank you Dwayne and the Food & Health subcommittee for leading the charge on supporting policies that improve the health and well-being of all Philadelphians!
The Food & Health Subcommittee seeks to bring diverse voices and leadership to its work. Meeting times and locations vary. If you would like more information about the Food & Health Subcommittee, please contact Chairs Kelly Courts and Radha Pennotti.